Now for the Guardian US. Its reporter, Ben Jacobs, was in the act of doing journalism last week when he ended up on the floor, courtesy of an alleged body slam by Greg Gianforte, a Republican candidate for Montana’s sole congressional seat who shares some of Trump’s feelings about the media. Despite catching a misdemeanor assault charge, Gianforte went on to win the election, besting Democratic candidate Rob Quist. People heard about the confrontation and proceeded to the Guardian’s contribution page.
According to rep Deepal Patadia, reader contributions to the Guardian last week increased by 40 percent over the publication’s recent weekly average. The contribution page makes clear that the donations aren’t tax-deductible and fund journalism. The audiotape of Jacobs’s encounter with Gianforte tallied 2.7 million plays, with nearly 500,000 on Facebook and 2.3 million on the outlet’s YouTube player.
Bummer: Guardian US declined to provide the raw numbers of contributions, the better to judge the significance of the contribution spike. How important is that information? Well, just consider that the Public News Service scored a 26-fold increase in donations after one of its reporters was arrested for asking questions of Trump appointees — which meant $775, as opposed to the usual $30.